Value of donated formals goes beyond the dollars

Starting on Monday, dozens of donated formal dresses will be on sale at the Goodwill store in Marietta, something we hope ensures that students who couldn’t afford a high-end gown for prom still have a first-rate prom experience.

The dresses came from a local boutique that went out of a business, and we commend the owner for doing something positive with a less-than-positive experience.

There are probably many others in the community who have formal dresses, from prom, from a stint as a bridesmaid or even the dress from their own wedding, that will never do anything more than hang in a closet. By making a donation, whether it be to Goodwill, another organization or someone who you know, it can really make a difference. We hope some other community members consider giving this gift as well.

We all remember the anxieties of youth of wanting to fit in, be accepted and feel good about yourself. Though they’re only pieces of fabric, these dresses will give the opportunity to some local girls and women to feel beautiful and special for a night. In the days where it seems every teen has a smartphone in his or her hands, it can be easy to forget that many area families can’t even afford enough food on the table, much less an expensive dress.

The dresses don’t only have to be for those who can’t afford anything else, though. They could help serve as an important lesson in making wise financial choices and in being practical. Just because spending $400 on a dress is feasible doesn’t mean it’s the best choice.

We’re glad this opportunity exists locally and hope there’s a way to continue it long after this particular donation is gone.